The Championship’s in-form side, Hull City held Aston Villa to a 2-2 draw at Villa Park. The hosts came back from a losing position with goals coming from former Tiger James Chester and Tammy Abraham’s got his 17th of the season.
Dean Smith re-introduced Alan Hutton in the starting 11. Andre Green and Jonathan Kodjia returned to the squad but had to settle for a place on the bench. Both where used in the latter stages but to little prevail, as Villa could only manage to register their 12th draw of the campaign.
Hull out of the blocks
Whilst Villa held all the ball in the opening exchanges, little invention at the top end of the field meant few goalscoring chances where fashioned. Against the run of play, a Hull City counter-attack almost opened the scoring within the first ten minutes.
Breaking with pace, Evandro squared across the Villa box in a swift counter-attack, where Kamil Grosicki could fire on goal. But former team-mate Tommy Elphick blocked his effort. Though, the power on the strike was enough to make it seem a certain goal if James Chester’s determination wasn’t rewarded. The Villa skipper acrobatically clearing the danger off the goal-line, as he did in Smith’s first home game abasing Bolton… we kept a clean sheet on that night.
How things have changed, or in recent weeks not at all. One long ball from Stephen Kingsley caused mayhem or a fragile Villa backline. Without clearing their lines, Jarrod Bowen struck towards Lovre Kalinic who couldn’t keep his strikeout. Hull lead on the 27th minute.
Ten minutes later, however, the away side doubled their advantage through Brazilian talisman Evandro. He expertly finished from Kamil Grosicki’s delivery on the left flank.
Goals are a given at Villa Park this season but at both ends. So it was no surprise that Conor Hourihane’s delivery from a free kick produced his seventh assist of the season, by providing for Chester on the stroke of half time. The centre half managed to get enough on this header to halve the deficit as he stretched at the near post.
On the hour mark, after the hosts kept up the pressure on their counterparts. Substitute Anwar El-Ghazi crept inside the Hull box allowing space for Hutton to charge down the right side before crossing towards Abraham, who, at the second time of asking, dispatched past David Marshall to draw level.
After John McGinn failed to make the most of his late opportunity, Kalinic at the other end preserved a point for the hosts, by denying Chris Martin from a matter of yards.
With promotion hopes slipping away from Villa, a home game to bottom club Ipswich Town might just be the kick they need.